“Leisure shopping” is a thing of my past. In my current, stay-at-home-mom situation, online shopping has saved me too many times to count.
I’ve purchased furniture to underwear to gifts on Amazon. A few items stand out above the rest that have changed my life for the better.
If you do have the chance to do some in-person shopping, I encourage it! Here are a few of my favorite local shops:
- Feliz Modern—fun and funky gifts that the person “who has it all” is guaranteed not to have already, with a San Antonio flavor.
- No. 9 Florals & Gifts—the perfect “I’m thinking of you” or “thanks for hosting us this year” gift. Go feast your eyes on their stunning floral arrangements.
- San Antonio Botanical Garden gift shop—This gift shop has excellently curated gifts with many unique creations from local artisans. There is something special for all ages!
- Witte Museum gift shop—As a parent, I am a sucker for fun and educational kids’ gifts, and boy, do they have those here! The Witte gift shop offers quality toys that even this self-proclaimed Amazon queen couldn’t find online.
Now for the Amazon purchases that have rocked my world! Click on the title or image to view each one. (Note: This post contains affiliate links, but I have purchased, used, and loved each of the items I am recommending on my own free will.)
Y’all. Y’aaaaaall. Every mama (especially a Southern one) needs one or two of these in her kitchen or on her campground, whichever suits you most. Everything that I make in here tastes better somehow. Meat, potatoes, cobbler, pancakes, eggs—I’ve done it all with this pan. It’s easier cooking and a one-pan cleanup. Perhaps I like most that it can go from stovetop to oven smoothly.
How to gift it: Package it up with a cast iron recipe book, a printout of “how to care for your cast iron” instructions, and add a jar of cookie mix. All it takes is making one giant oven-baked cookie in this pan—gooey center, crispy edges, and all—and you will be hooked on cooking with cast iron.
Stackable Bento BoxAs cute as it is functional, this stackable Bento Box is perfect for picnics or to load up for school, dance class, errands, etc. Not a week goes by that we don’t use ours. I imagine every mom needs one in her kitchen.
How to gift it: When I purchased mine, I also added this set of reusable sporks to complete my food-packing savvy. It would be very cute in a basket chock full of yummy snacks to pack into it!
Storage Jars I love organization, but cute organization is next-level. The key to that? Plenty of baskets and jars that fit your home decor. All of mine, I have found on Amazon. Just don’t forget to check the dimensions before you order. I speak from experience here.
The uses for these are endless. In my house, I use jars of all sizes for grains, flour, sugar, and snacks. I keep an oversized jar full of bath bombs by my tub and even more jars filled with colorful craft supplies in my office.
How to gift it: Order a pack of smaller jars and fill each one with snacks or cookie or hot cocoa mix. Keep some in your car, and you will always have something ready to hand out in an unexpected gift exchange or to someone on the street corner who needs a helping hand.
It’s not cute and it’s not fun, but this item is my number one!
This is, hands down, the best thing I have EVER bought on Amazon—dare I say the single most useful item in my home. I only bought this a few months ago, and I am kicking myself for not getting one sooner. When the dog trudges rocks and grass into the kitchen, sucky-sucky (without having to mop the whole thing). When I spill a bit of flour while baking, shwwooop—all gone! When my daughter finishes eating an extra crumby meal, she grabs the hand vac and cleans up. The different attachments quickly vacuum corners and hard-to-reach, high-up places. The bristles pick up dog hair. It is so easy to vacuum out cup holders and car seats. Clearly, I could go on for a long time about how much I love this thing.
How to gift it: As much as I adore this one, it may not be the best gift unless you just know the recipient well enough to know that they will find as much joy in quick and easy cleaning as I have. Just get this for yourself, and thank me later. If you do gift this, it pairs well with a six-pack of beer, dark chocolate, and Mrs. Meyers holiday-scented cleaning products.
I’ve bought candles from all over the place. I am a sucker for them. Just trust me when I say, I KNOW my candles. No one candle has ever brought me as much delight as these gorgeously presented and delicious-smelling mug candles. They are unique, good quality, and thoughtful. They make lovely centerpieces for mood lighting on your dinner table and serve as thoughtful kitchen counter decorations.
How to gift: This would be an excellent hostess gift with a bottle of wine or just a cute gift for a friend. It doesn’t need much, but a thoughtful note to go with it would be ideal.
A bit random and not as functional as many of the items on this list, but every single friend of my daughter’s who has seen this has exclaimed, “I need one!” Then the mom of said friend has looked at me and asked, “Where did you get it?” Sure, nobody needs a sequined mermaid tail blanket, but almost every single kid would like one. It’s pretty useful around our home for road trips or snuggly movie nights.
How to gift it: It’s perfect on its own, but you could go the extra mile with a squishmellow pillow, or make a whole movie night gift theme by filling the tail with popcorn and DVDs.
If you’re a dog mom or have a dog mom in your life, this paw washer is unusual enough that you probably haven’t heard of it and useful enough that every dog owner needs one. It’s a rainy day lifesaver.
How to gift it: Pair it with an on-the-go collapsible water bowl or doggy water bottle. Throw in some doggy treats for good measure.